Not going anywhere this February break? We hear it’s lovely in Westchester this time of year. And there’s certainly plenty to do, whether your plan is to bundle up the kids and head outdoors, or hang out around the house in your pajamas all week long. Here are 50 ideas on how to spend your week, updated for 2017!
1. Take a winter hike. We’ve got kid-friendly trail routes for Rye Beach and Croton Gorge (you just might spot a deer!), as well as pointers for ice hunting at River Walk in Tarrytown.
2. Let the kids loose at an indoor play space. Northern Westchester readers: here are some additional places to play closer to you!
3. Go to the movies. Alamo Movies Theater in Yonkers is featuring the original Kubo and the Two Strings all week long for $1-$3. If your kids are more into science and engineering, drive up to the IMAX theater at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, where the STEM-related movie Dream Big just premiered this past Friday. And over at Ridge Hill’s Cinema de Lux in Yonkers, they’re showing old Disney favorites for $6 (Frozen is playing today; Dumbo is on this weekend).
4. Break out the slow cooker and avoid spending all day thinking about what to make for dinner.
5. Hop on the train and take a ride into the city. Some cool things to check out with the kids: the SeaGlass Carousel down in Battery Park and the Children’s Museum of the Arts, just off the West Side Highway.
6. Or don’t hop on the train, and just watch them go by instead. Grab lunch at Valhalla Crossing near the station, a cute little restaurant housed in two converted train cars, with a designated room for train spotting while dining. For other great places to dine and spot trains, check out this past post. Choo-choo!
7. Howl with the wolves at Wolf Conservation Center’s winter wolves presentation, happening today and this weekend. Learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolf families, visit with the center’s ambassador wolves, and enjoy hot beverages in the woodstove-heated classroom.
8. Lace up the skates and hit one of these Westchester ice rinks.
9. Skydive with the kids! iFly indoor skydiving center welcomes kids as young as 3. Float on a cushion of air to simulate the experience of freefall.
10. Warm up with a steaming bowl of noodle soup. We found the best slurps in Westchester.
11. Learn something new at a science museum. There are two fantastic ones just a short car-trip away – the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City and the New York Hall of Science in Queens.
12. Hit the slopes for a day of skiing or snow tubing at a small, family-friendly mountain.
13. Take a drive along the West Side Highway to the Intrepid, which is hosting its Kids Week today through Saturday, with programming centered around science and games. Meet scientists, explore interactive displays, and play cutting-edge digital games.
14. Let the kids make a mess at someone else’s place. Scribble Art Studio offers a drop-in session every Saturday for your kids to take advantage of all the art supplies. They’re also running a mini-camp all week long.
15. Treat your winter-weary skin and lungs to some salt therapy at Breathe Easy in Dobbs Ferry and Katonah. Kids are welcome in the family room, which is set up with sand toys and kid-size chairs. Who needs the beach?
16. Check out Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, which bills itself as a four-season farm. Entry is free in the winter! Visit the animals and greenhouse, or pay extra to take the family farm tour.
17. Do Taco Tuesday at the new Cantina Lobos in Pelham.
18. Paint some pottery (or plaster, if you want to save a few bucks). Made in Mamaroneck, Plaster Palace in Larchmont, Fun Craft in Scarsdale, and A Maze in Pottery in Briarcliff Manor all take walk-ins.
19. Make a birthday celebration box with your kids and donate it to a local child in need. It’s a great snowy day project that your children will find meaningful.
20. Take a hot chocolate tour. We found the best cups in Westchester. Or make your own hot cocoa at home and top it with fun whipped cream shapes. Yum!
21. Shop at an indoor farmers’ market. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you have to stop buying fresh veggies and locally made goodies. There are markets open on Saturdays in Mamaroneck, Ossining and Pleasantville.
22. View the winter night sky from the Hudson Valley Museum’s state-of-the-art planetarium. It’s amazing. Seriously.
23. Bake healthy, yummy mini frittata muffins with the kids – we’ve got recipes for three different kinds.
24. Take a mini vacation that’s within driving distance from Westchester. There’s even a great destination that’s only 15 minutes away! Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery (and a hotel pool).
25. Celebrate National Bird Feeding Month. Buy some birdseed and make simple bird-feeders with these easy craft ideas.
26. Watch a kid-friendly show on Broadway. The New Victory Theater is featuring a three-man juggling troupe this week, and perennial favorite The Gazillion Bubble Show is playing at New World Stages.
27. Make beef stew for dinner. Because nothing warms the heart in the middle of February like beef stew.
28. Head over to Mt. Kisco to check out the new-ish gourmet food court Exit 4 Food Hall.
29. Round up some kids and have a chocolate-making play date at Chocolate Works in Scarsdale.
30. Go to the mall – specifically, the ginormous Palisades Mall in Nyack, just over the Tappan Zee Bridge. You’ll find endless entertainment, including a bowling alley, an ice-skating rink, a ropes course, a Ferris wheel, a carousel, an escape room, a virtual reality ride and a movie theater — plus, of course, hundreds of shops and restaurants!
31. Learn how to layer up properly for running outside.
32. Get a head start on spring cleaning. It’s so easy to donate your old toys, clothes, book and baby gear — some organizations will even pick up from your house!
33. Hang out in one of Westchester’s coziest coffeehouses. Even if you don’t like coffee, they’re just fun!
34. Participate in maple sugaring this Sunday at Teatown Lake Reserve. Naturalists will tap, collect, boil and bottle sap while sharing folklore about this late winter tradition. Registration is required.
35. Put the kids to bed early (here’s a book that’ll knock ’em right out), mix up some winter cocktails (Bourbon butterscotch lattes, anyone?), and enjoy a cozy date night at home.
36. Have a real-life tea party at a place that offers afternoon tea service. Silver Tips Tea Room in Tarrytown and Kathleen’s Tea Room in Peekskill are both fine options. Pinkies up!
37. See — and make — art at one of Westchester’s great museums. The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers and Katonah Museum of Art both offer a “school’s out, art’s in” program during the break; admission for kids is free and each museum is featuring art workshops based on the current exhibits.
38. Have a family game night. Here are the board games we love playing in our own households.
39. Take a spin on an indoor carousel. Some nearby favorites: the Bug Carousel at the Bronx Zoo, the Bear Mountain Carousel, and the double-decker Palisades Center Carousel in Nyack.
40. Turn your kids’ art projects into a lovely gallery wall.
41. Visit a children’s museum. Stepping Stones Museum for Children is worth crossing the border into Connecticut. Or check out the Westchester Children’s Museum in Rye.
42. Enjoy the great indoors. If you’re stuck in the house with a small baby, here are some ideas for things to do at home.
43. Sign up for an art class. The Clay Art Center in Port Chester, Young At Art in Scarsdale, and The Rye Arts Center are all offering ways to get creative this week.
44. Or if you’d rather not commit to a class, drop in on a free art workshop at Lakeshore Learning in Scarsdale. The store runs the workshop every Saturday from 11am to 3pm for kids ages 3 and up.
45. While away an afternoon at one of Westchester’s many independent bookshops, or the new Barnes & Noble concept store in Eastchester.
46. Examine exotic desert dwellers at Wave Hill in the Bronx this weekend. Kids ages 5 and up will visit the cactus and succulent house to sketch the plants, then make an exotic plant of their own using papier-mâché, bendable wire, paint and paper.
47. Treat yourself to a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich for lunch — and maybe let the kids have a bite or two.
48. Introduce your kids to bird-watching and bird identification at the Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale. A new program, called Project Feedwatch, is aimed at children and takes place today and every Sunday through March.
49. Jump the sillies out at Rockin’ Jump, an indoor trampoline park in Mt. Kisco. Boing!
50. Put a TV show on for the kids and take a nap. Go on. You’ve earned it. It’s vacation, after all!